Rhoda Cox

Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:39 pm

(Author's Note: I will begin this dynasty when 1.4 drops and is shown to be stable)

Preview #1:
Rhoda Cox, First Woman to Coach a Men’s Division I Team

4/27/2035: Hannah Rice, A. D., Cornell University: We are down to two candidates in our search for a new head men’s basketball coach here at Cornell. Over the course of the past five seasons we have gone, in order, from 2030-2034: 11-17, 9-19, 3-25, 5-23, 6-22. Needless to say, wonderful candidates are not beating down our doors.

Here’s the dilemma. I have reached out to both experienced head coaches, and assistants who seem ready to jump to the top spot. None of those to whom I reached out was interested.

The two candidates who applied are:

Joe Piccolo: Joe has been the head coach at both Yale and U. of Hartford. He did poorly regarding wins and losses in both places, was not well like by his players at either school, and could not hold onto assistant coaches. His record in seven seasons was 71-128.

Rhoda Cox: Rhoda is a winner. She played for legendary women’s coach Geno Auriemma at UConn from 2018-2022, winning three national titles. She then became an assistant under him.

After three years there she went on to become head coach of the women’s team at the University of Massachusetts. In ten years there she won four national championships. She never had a losing season, and indeed her worst record was in her first season when her team went 21-9. Her overall record as a head coach was 289-32, .900.

Rhoda is a very demanding coach. She insists upon strong academics from her student athletes. She has a mandatory two hour study hall six days a week, at home and on the road, in season and out of season. None of her players has ever had an academic issue.

She is a strict disciplinarian. Her players toe the mark in all respects.

She knows the game. Her teams enter every game prepared, and in close games they usually do better in the second half than in the first, which means that she is excellent at making adjustments.

She is ambitious. If we get her, we won’t keep her long because I’m guessing she WILL be successful. But, if she builds our program that will make it easier to hire the next coach.

No woman has ever been the head coach of a Division I men’s basketball team. I have spoken with the university President, with the Board of Trustees, with our primary athletic backers, with alumni groups, with student groups, with returning members of the team.

Everyone is concerned regarding the publicity circus this will become, since Cornell is a proud academic institution, and academics will always trump sports here.

Given the fact that Coach Cox is truly committed to academics the latter point is somewhat moot, but the circus will most assuredly come to town.

4/29: Hannah Rice, A. D.: With the support and encouragement of all the affected groups here at Cornell I have offered the position to Coach Cox.

4/30: Hannah Rice, A. D.: Rhoda called and accepted the job. She will arrive here tomorrow to sign the contract and to begin work.

4/30: Rhoda Cox: Okay, my parents were naïve. My sister, Freda, agrees, as does my brother Richard, who they always called, “Dickie,” and my other brother Benjamin James; yep, you guessed it. So B. J. married a woman named Ophelia; she wisely kept her maiden name. It was Payne, but still…

How did I get to be the first woman to coach a Division I men’s hoop team? I EARNED it, damn it! And more than earned it.

I was all but born with a basketball in my hands. It has been an obsession for as long as I can remember. Fortunately, for some unknown reason, my naïve and conservative parents supported my passion. I played on the guys’ team in middle school, and led the team in scoring and in assists.

I switched over to the girls’ team in high school, of course. I was a high school first team All American my last two years, and national POY my senior year.

I went to the best women’s basketball school in history, UConn, and played four years under the greatest hoops coach who ever lived, Geno Auriemma. We won three titles in my four years, missing only my sophomore year when Stanford beat us by one with a 60 foot buzzer beater- so we lost on a totally lucky shot, or my graduating class would have been the second in history to win four.

The pros, both here and abroad, pardon the expression, wanted me, but I saw my future in coaching. I wound up as an assistant with Geno. He taught me a tremendous amount and I will be forever grateful. Hey, when he retired this spring he had 25 national titles and more than 1,500 wins; amazing! At age 25 I became the women’s head coach at UMass when their coach retired. I spent the last 10 years as head coach there. My record? 289-32, .900.We won 4 national titles, including the last 3.

The publicity today has been overwhelming, and I have no doubt I’ll be living in a fishbowl for quite a while, maybe for my whole career. Bring it on!

Oh, personally, I am 5’10”, thin- still, 35 years old. I’ve never married. That, of course, leads to rumors- what a surprise! I’ll probably talk about all of that at some point, but not yet. I live with an orange tiger cat, male. His name is Spot- it’s a joke… get it? Cats don’t give a sh*t what you call them anyway; they’re cool like that.

My first job is to hire assistants. All three moved on; I actually do NOT think it was about gender. They all had a chance to move up.
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:47 pm

Preview #2:

4/30: Lacey Casey, EPSN: “Hello fans, we’re here with the new head coach of the Cornell Big Red, Rhoda Cox. Congratulations, Rhoda.”

“Thanks Lacey.”

“You’re facing a huge challenge.”

“Yes, I am. Five straight losing seasons, 14 wins in three seasons. We have our work cut out for us.”

“That’s not exactly what I meant.”

“Small seating capacity. Facilities that are getting old, limited budget.”

“Let’s try a different approach. When your mentor, Geno Auriemma retired, you took on the mantle as the #1 coach in women’s basketball, at what was rapidly becoming the #1 women’s basketball school. You gave that up to take a huge cut in pay and to come to a school that’s at the bottom of a very low rated conference. Why?”

“I loved coaching women at UMass. I’m proud of the success we had there. I truly believe women’s basketball is a great and growing sport. BUT… this is the ultimate challenge, and I welcome it. I’ve been trying to get a head coaching job on the men’s side for three years. I WANT to be the first woman to be the head coach in a major sport in Div. I on the men’s side. I welcome all that comes with it, and Lacey, you know I’m not naïve.”

“No, you’re not. Can you hope to be successful?”

“I expect to be successful, and quickly.”

“I don’t think anyone denies that you can coach, but can you recruit?”

“I’ll lose some players because of my gender. I have no illusions. But I don’t think I’ll lose all that many. I’ll go after transfers, jucos- anyone I can get. I don’t know if I can promise a winning team in my first season. We are graduating the best two players on a team that won 6 games all season. But we’re going to clean house. Anyone who isn’t working his butt off won’t be back for our second season. Kids who work hard have nothing to fear. They can help us even if they don’t play a lot of minutes. But those who aren’t willing to work harder than they ever have in their lives? They’re gone.”

“You are known to run a tight ship. What happens when a player decides he’s not going to take orders from a woman?”

“One warning in a ‘cards on the table’ discussion. The second time? We have an open roster spot. I run the show. Anyone who has played for me knows they can discuss anything with me in private, and I’ll listen. But challenge me in front of the team and there will be hell to pay.”

“Rhoda Cox, I’ve followed your career on the women’s side for the past 16 years. If anyone can do this, you can. I wish you all the best.”

“Thanks Lacey.”

5/1: Press conference at Cornell, hosted by A. D. Hannah Rice.

“No opening statement. We all know why we’re here. Rhoda and I will take questions. Ray Ratso, San Francisco Examiner.”

“This is for Rhoda. Rhoda, why Cornell?”

“They offered (laughter). Seriously, I’ve turned down more than one job because it didn’t feel like the right situation. If you know me you know I’m big on academics. This is probably one of the top 5 academic schools in the country. That was important. Second, I’ve always been a winner. Right back to middle school I’ve never been with a team that finished below .600. That will be a challenge this year, but I expect to reach that in my second year. I think we can win in the Ivy League, and win soon.”

“Dan Shagnastie, Boston Glob.”

“Rhoda, what are you going to do when a kid or a family refuses to even talk to a woman coach about playing ball for you?”

“Move on to the next kid. Frankly Dan, I don’t think that will happen often enough to matter. We have a limited budget but the most dollars we can spare will go to a good, experienced recruiting assistant.”

“Like who?”

“We’re working on it, Dan. I’m talking to two very good people.”

“Randy Rhodes, CBZ Sportsline.”

“Hannah, why a woman?”

“Rhoda Cox was the best, most qualified candidate available. She’s always been a winner. We need a winner here. It’s been a long five years. Jenny Neal, Sports Illuminated.”

“Rhoda, you’re big on man to man D. Is that what you plan to use here?”

“100% of the time. When we press it will be a man to man press.”

“If I may follow up, with the personnel you have here you could run out of players.”

“They let us suit 15, counting walk ons. Some nights we’ll play 15. By the same token we’ll spend lots of practice time, particularly in October and November, on learning to play the man without committing dumb fouls. We’ll get there.”

“Robin Wood, New York Pots.”

“Rhoda, a lot of folks are telling me they think you’re crazy. You could have ruled the world of women’s hoops for decades. You can’t win here.”

“Wanna bet?”

“Lucy Higgins, NBZ Sports.”

“How about offense, Rhoda?”

“I’ve always run Princeton and Triangle against the zone, and that’s what we’ll run here. I call the plays about ¾ of the time until we reach the point when I can back off of that. Our man to man offense is pretty standard and again, I'll call most of the plays.”

“Mike Drake, New York Daily Noose.”

“Hannah, people are saying this is all just a publicity stunt. Cornell keeps losing, but they get a lot of publicity for the school because of the gimmick.”

“I resent that. I’ll say this for all to hear. I believe that within three seasons Rhoda will be challenging for the Ivy title, probably winning it in the third season. Barley Maltte, New York Tines.”

“Rhoda, are you ready for all of this aggravation, for the tumult and shouting, for the circus atmosphere?”

“Winning will shut all of that up. I plan to win.”

“Rick Torn, WTNY, TV.”

“Rhoda, I’m told you have a short fuse. You’ll be under a lot of pressure. Can you take it?”

“Yes, I can. I don’t have a short fuse, but at a certain point I’ve had enough. I think we’re at that point.”

“Thanks everyone.”
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:56 am

Preview #3:

5/2: Dolores “Daisy” Chayne: My fiancée is one hell of a woman. I don’t know that I’d want to face the sh*t she’s going to face as the first woman to be the head coach of a Div. I men’s team in a major sport. And she’s decided to out herself this summer when we officially announce our engagement. She’s not a masochist; trust me I would know.

What she is, is the strongest, bravest person I know. We’ve known each other since the start of my junior year at UConn, when she came in as a freshman. I was the PG on three national championship teams there.

Anyway. The first day I met her, August 25, 2018, it was pretty much love at first sight. She tells me she felt the same way. We became friends quickly but we didn’t carry it beyond that until the end of my senior season. But, Rhoda was Rhoda. About two weeks after I met her she followed me out of team study hall one night.

“Hey, Daisy. I need to say something.”

I stopped. “Okay.”

“Look. I really like you, I mean relationship like you. But this kind of thing can really f*ck up a team if it goes South. So let’s stay friends until the end of next season. When you’re done playing here we can give it a shot. What do you say?”

I wanted to say that she was taking a lot for granted, but I knew she knew that I had feelings for her and she’d just call b*llsh*t if I played games.

So I said, “Okay.”

She said, “Great!” and then she turned around and walked away. That was that. All business, as always.

I wondered what I was getting myself into, but I just shook my head and walked back to my car. As I drove to my apartment I thought to myself that an interracial lesbian relationship was kind of pushing the envelope. I mean my complexion is about the exact color of your classic Hershey bar so when the time came for us to be seen together no one would need to guess about the interracial part. And knowing Rhoda I thought they wouldn’t need to guess about the lesbian part.

I was wrong about that, as it turned out. Once we actually started seeing each other she insisted we keep it on the down low.

“Let’s keep it quiet until we’re both established. I want a shot at being a head coach, and eventually I want to be the head coach of a MEN’S team. You want to be an athletic trainer. Let’s keep it quiet until we get there.”

She was 19 when we had that conversation. The girl always knew what she wanted, and pretty much always knew how to get it.

I’ve been an athletic trainer- for Rhoda’s team, for ten years, and I will hold that position with the men’s basketball team at Cornell.

She’ got the job she wanted- well, no. She won’t be happy until she’s the head coach of a men’s team at one of the elite programs- UConn, Duke, UCLA, North Carolina, Stanford, California, Michigan ST- one of those, or one of the few others in that category.

I think coming out now will complicate that but she’s tired of waiting.

“F*ck it. I’m sick of waiting. I want to marry you, and I want children.”

Okay with me; I do too, but it will add to the sh*t storm.

Oh, I kind of skipped about a decade and a half. We started being together about sixteen years ago. I can't say it's always been smooth, Rhoda is too intense and too direct for that. But it has been exciting, it has been stimulating, it has been fascinating, and I wouldn't trade what we have for anything- and I mean ANYTHING. Fortunately, I'm pretty laid back. I'm no doormat though. When Rhoda pushes too far, or becomes too insensitive, I let her know it. The great thing about her is that she actually does listen, and she actually does try to fix it. Some things are just part of who she is, and I need to accept that. The others? She works on those.

I love her with everything I have, and with everything I am. I want us to be together for life, and I would be shocked if it didn't turn out that way.
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Wed May 11, 2016 6:27 pm

5/2: Gary Gray, EPSN, assigned to cover this story all year long:

Why me? Two awards, second most read guy on the site, regular commentator on “Sportschat.” Why me? I get to report on a b*tch I never liked, who’s doing something I neither support nor believe in, and my bosses tell me I can’t play it negative. When Big Red’s coach is “red” for a reason I’ll have to put up with her- and I don’t like her much when she’s NOT on the- well, you know. Sh*t!

5/3: Rhoda Cox: I’m hard at work. I’ve gotten a few negative responses from people I wanted as assistants but both of the recruiting assistants I have interest in are still talking with us. I NEED to get one of them.

5/4: I have a staff. No great shakes but all are signed for one year. I’m disappointed in #1 and #2 but VERY happy with #3.

Ted Myra will recruit. He knows the Northeast, and he relates to smart kids. Those are the two groups we’ll attract- with luck! Ted has a… reputation. He’s supposed to be great with kids and awful with adults. I didn’t get either of the recruiters I wanted and I had to bite the bullet.

#2 is Dee Cale, and he’ll scout. He did that for UMass Lowell for the past three years. Nice guy, decnt recruiter, but not what I hoped for.

#3 is Ken Maso, and he’s my bench/practice guy. He was a head coach at Boston University for 12 years, and not a bad one. He’s been retired for three years. He’s made it clear that this is a one year gig- I’m hoping I can get him for two. His daughter and I were teammates at UConn and that’s why he’s here. And I appreciate it; he’s got a TON of experience, and he knows his stuff.

Ken will be my best assistant, and probably the guy I feel closest to, but Ted is vital to the operation, and I need good scouting reports from Dee. We’ll see.

5/5: Gary Gray, EPSN: “Rhoda Cox, new head coach of the men’s- that’s right the MEN’S hoops team at Cornell has hired her assistants. #3, Ken Maso was a solid head coach at BU for years. His daughter Tara was a teammate of Rhoda’s at UConn. The #1 and #2 are not household names- even one street over from wherever it is they live.”

Rhoda Cox: Gary Gray is a sphincter. I was p*ssed when I heard EPSN put him on our “story.”

5/10: Rhoda: We bought the Eastern Gold and National Basic scouting reports. That leaves us with $47,000 for recruiting. I wish it was more. We’ll ask for a budget increase in the spring.

6/1: Daisy: Rhoda is working 16-20 hours a day. I never see her. When I do she’s tired, a little cranky- when she’s not a lot cranky. She says she loves the job. No doubt she does. She’s not a masochist- really.

6/20: Rhoda: Mistake #1 was hiring my #1, Ted Myra. I was told he was a little difficult. Yeah. Mount Everest is a little mountain. I’m going to need to work around him as much as possible; jerk.

6/26: Rhoda: Recruiting goes into high gear today. We have four open slots.

We’re looking at 20, many of them not very realistic possibilities. But sometimes a guy with a 4.0 or even a 3.7 will go with a great academic school. We’re gonna roll the d*mn dice!

7/1: Press conference at Cornell, hosted by A. D. Hannah Rice.

“No opening statement but Rhoda will have a closing statement. Ginny Ray, ABD sports.”

“Rhoda, how’s recruiting going?”

“WAY too soon for that question, Ginny. We’ve got a long list of names. We’ve contacted all of them. Some are speaking with us, some aren’t, which is what you expect at this stage.”

“Any surprises?”

“Some cause for cautious optimism.”

“Gary Gray, EPSN.”

“Rhoda, it’s been two months. How’s the adjustment going?”

“Two months already? Honestly, I’ve been so busy- it’s going well. The facilities here are a step down from UMass, and a huge step down from UConn, but we need budget dollars for recruiting more than we need a facilities upgrade. Every player has his own space in the locker room- not as much as I’d like, but they’ll need to suck it up. No wimps on my team- ever.

“I bought a home just outside Ithaca, about a mile and a half off campus, and- well, more about that later. Anyone who knows me knows I love to hike and to run and I’ve found lots of great spots for both. My A. D., Hannah Rice has been a huge help, as has everyone I need to work with. I want to give a huge shout out to Robin White, the program administrator. She has been fantastic.”

“Ray Ratso, San Francisco Examiner.”

“Rhoda, word is you and Ted Myra are having some issues regarding-”

“Ray, I love ya like a brother, you know that, but we’re not going there.”

“But-”

“RAY! We are NOT going THERE! Did you have a different question?”

“Pass.”

“Jeff Green New York Pots.”

“Rhoda, last year this team led the nation in turnovers. What are you going to do about that?”

“Is crying an option? (laughter) Jeff, you know my style. We’re going to work our butts off. The only promise I will make is that we will NOT finish last in the country, won’t finish last in the conference either, in TOs. But, hey, I haven’t had a practice yet, and I won’t have one for three months and one day. Dee, Ken, and I are looking at video of our team, together, two hours every single day, five days a week. We’re analyzing what we can do, what we need to work on, how to make it better, who we think can learn the things we need them to learn. I work on the art of the possible. I won’t truly know what’s possible ‘til I get the guys in the gym on a regular basis, but I want to have some clear ideas before the first practice.”

“Art Howe, Schenectedy Courier.”

“Rhoda, you said, you, Dee, and Ken are-”

“Before you go where I wouldn’t let Ray go, looking at video of our own team and our definite, probable, and possible opponents is up to the head coach, the scouting assistant, and the bench assistant. The recruiting assistant looks at video of guys to determine whether we want to recruit them. My recruiting assistant is doing that- very well.”

“Lou Fisher, Amherst Gazette.”

“Rhoda, great to see you.”

“Hi Lou. You too.”

“So, are you focusing on a particular position in recruiting?”

“With a team that’s struggled the way we have for the past few years, Lou, we want the best players we can get.”

“Four scholarships to fill.”

“For now. Lou, you know me from my days at UMass. Any kid who’s busting his hump will be with us, no matter how much or how little talent he has. BUT, if there’s a kid who isn’t working hard, I’ll turn him loose at the end of the season, and that will give me a spot to fill. Best case scenario is that it doesn’t happen, but I want my guys to know I expect hard work every minute of every day, good grades, and no trouble with the law. If any piece of that is missing, you don’t play for me- well, you’ll get a warning, and all the help we can give, but if things don’t improve, pack up.”

“Okay, we promised an announcement at the end of the press conference. Rhoda.”

“First, I want to thank the press for staying away from the story I’m about to give you. I appreciate the respect for my private life. Now it’s time to go public. Yesterday afternoon Dolores “Daisy” Chayne and I were married. We hope to become parents as soon as possible.”

“Adoption or in vit-”

“No questions, folks. That’s it. Congratulations, Rhoda.”

7/1: EPSN Sportschat, Hannah Rain: “Moving to men’s college hoops, Cornell head coach Rhoda Cox married her long time sweetheart, and is now Rhoda Chayne Cox. Her wife is Daisy Chayne Cox, and if any of you guys even smirk I’ll kick your-” (At that point riotous laughter ensued to the point where they had to go to break.)
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Thu May 12, 2016 2:59 am

7/11: Rhoda: Back on the job after a week’s honeymoon in Jamaica. We have some top 10 players showing mild interest. All of them are very good students, with an interest in STEM subjects, which is definitely Cornell’s specialty.

7/25: Rhoda: It’s tough working around Ted Myra. I let him talk with recruits, and he’s actually pretty decent at that, but he’s a loose cannon with the families, and he’s a p.i.t.a. with staff and administration. He will NOT be back.

I’m visiting our returning players. I see 3-4 every week. I ask them to work on certain things, but more importantly, I am getting to know them. We have 10 on scholarship, 2 walk ons, and all 12 will get playing time, assuming they earn it through hard work. I wish I had 15, or even 14 on the squad, but it is what it is.

We’re still watching video, planning who will do what. I know what our offensive sets will be- Princeton and Triangle against the zone, and a fairly standard man-to-man offense. On D it’s man, but we do work a little with 1-3-1 in case a team goes on fire from long range. The press is strictly man. A lot of what we do is figuring which guys we feel like should be in the game in given situations, what our substitution pattern will be like, what to do if certain people get in foul trouble… A lot of this is hypothetical, and we know it will change based upon what we see in practice, but I like to be prepared for as many eventualities as possible.

Then it’s telephone time- with recruits, with their families, with alums and other supporters, with Hannah, our A. D., and people in her office, especially Robin White. I talk to other coaches.

I never stop. After 12-14 hours in the office or on the road (most days), I go home, look at more video, work on some other things. I try to find some time for Daisy and for that cranky old tiger cat, Spot, who is a lot more demanding than Daisy is. I try very hard to take a half day off either on Saturday or Sunday. That usually means a hiking and lunch with Daisy. All in all, I love my life, and I can’t wait for things to kick into high gear.

The next few weeks will involve serious recruiting, including offering scholarships, really working the guys we offer to including home visits, so lots of jet time, putting a schedule together, and continuing to get ready for that first practice on

October 2.

8/21: Rhoda: We offer to a PG, an SF, and 2 Cs. Two are longshots. I think we have a definite shot at the other two.

9/4: Rhoda: Still working those recruits. Hannah and I are discussing schedule. I want cupcakes. They’ll help us to get wins, and in year one that could be a tough task.

Daisy and I are doing well together. She is as good an athletic trainer as any out there. This is the end of her off season. Her job is school year only so she didn’t start getting paid until last week, even though she was in often during the summer, getting to know the facilities, the medical staff, the assistants, the equipment and the facilities. Now she’s around full time. We don’t see much of each other at work, but when I can manage it we have lunch together, usually in the main cafeteria on campus, but sometimes in one of the sandwich shops or restaurants on campus. I schmooze with students and faculty, encourage everyone to come out and support the team, and just get my name and face out there. It’s all part of the deal.

At home Daisy and I are very comfortable with each other. She’d like more time with me, and I’d like that too, but in this job, it’s not going to happen. Still, I think things are great.

9/11: This week I visited all 4 that we offered to. It was time for the first really BIG pitch. Fingers crossed.
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Thu May 12, 2016 2:01 pm

9/18: We lose one. He was #1 in the country. He showed definite interest so we took a flyer. Not a shock that he went to Michigan ST- great basketball, great academics. Things look very promising with the other three. We offer to a 2nd PG.

Schedule is awful in that we open with 2 at home, then the 8 of 9, 9 of 11 on the road. Brutal. Just about all cupcakes, but still, we’re probably a cupcake as well- for now...

Guys are hanging around the gym, doing lots of shooting, doing 1-1, 2-2, 3-3 stuff, holding captain’s practices… We can watch through the windows, but we can’t be in the gym with them. 13 days ‘til the first practice.

Two hour mandatory study hall, six days a week started on the first day of classes. We have tutors in all general areas of study. One of the coaches is at every study hall. I pop in often when it’s not my turn.

Oh, I have encountered not a thing that looks like a gender issue from any of the players. They all call me “Coach,” and they seem fine. The test will be when I start getting in their faces, demanding the extra effort…

9/25: Got 2! #53, Center Sal Cheek, a juco, and a real find, #21, Ryan Tens, another Center. Ryan is from just down the road and his dad is a Chemical Engineering professor here; Ryan wants Chem. Eng., and very much wants Cornell. All of that made us think we had a shot, and we pushed it. BUT, he’s borderline for hitting our SAT score. He’s a good student but not a terrific one, and Cornell is a tough school. Fingers crossed.

We lost a guard we had hoped to get. We offer to another PG but he’s a longshot.

10/2: Rhoda: We’re picked to finish 7th in the 8 team Ivy. Hannah is okay with that. I will be very unhappy with anything below 4th.

Still chasing recruits. We’re thinking a second guard- not that we’ve nailed down the first one yet.

First day of practice, at LAST! It looks like we have more talent up front than outside, so we’re definitely going for two guard recruits. But honestly, there’s not a lot of talent here. I DO see enthusiasm, and there are no dumb kids at Cornell, so this is going to be about teaching. Okay, I can do that.

Daisy and I have talked about the future. We’ve always known the goal is a top 10 hoops school- UConn is the dream, but Michigan ST, UCLA…

On the way? We’ll move as often as we need to as long as a given move is enough of a step up to justify it, and as long as we feel the program is willing to support our goals. We don’t want to be gypsies but I don’t think we’ll be in Ithaca for more than 3 years.

Gary Gray, EPSN: I was allowed at the first practice of Rhoda Cox’s Cornell Big Red hoops team. Rhoda has her work cut out for her.

Senior PF/C Kip Hill may be her best player, and junior guard Jay Alan can play. After that it’s a magic act. Senior walk on Marc Adams looks like he could start inside, or at least get lots of minutes. Craig Tice, a junior saw some action at SF and PF, and Jed Kraft, another senior walk on, may be the first big off the bench.

At this point the team has one decent guard; if Jay Alan gets hurt it’s going to be a very long season- actually, it may be a very long season anyway. BUT, the Big Red already have two good recruits in the bag. BUT again, they’re both inside players, and one may not hit the SAT score. They need to fill the last two slots with decent guards or the long range picture is no better than short range.

Rhoda Cox has a tough job in front of her. We’ll be checking in regularly as the hoop season gets near, and at least weekly during the season.

10/9: Rhoda: We offer to 2 guards, both of whom are showing some interest.

I had the opportunity to get in Kip Hill’s face in practice the other day. He’s our best player, but he was starting to act like he knew it. I delivered an old fashioned figurative a$$ kicking about the captain leading by being the hardest worker on the team. I used some pretty “rich” language, and I got LOUD. I kept it at about 30 seconds though; that’s important. He took it, and he worked harder for the rest of practice. Better yet, he came into my office after practice and apologized. We had a quiet chat and I think he’s going to be the leader I’m looking for.

Freshman guard Pat Blun may not be with us for more than this first season. Sam holds for frosh SF Dan Ashe. It’s not the fact that they aren’t very good, as much as it is that they are the least hard working members of the team. I’m pushing them. It will work or it won’t. If it does, great. If not, they’ll be the end of the bench, I’ll cut them in March, and I’ll look to fill the slots late. I don’t f*** around.

10/13: Rhoda: First gender issue came up. After a particularly grueling drill I heard, “Bitch!” It was under the breath but I both heard it and knew who said it.

“Okay, first. Swearing at the coach under the breath is a natural thing to do. Second, it’s a bad idea to get caught though (Most of the kids laughed at that, which I thought was a very good sign.). Third, it’s a REALLY bad idea to call a female coach a bitch… for a lot of reasons. BUT, if I was a guy I guess you’d be calling me a son of a bitch (more laughter) so okay. I’ll get used to it. Fourth, don’t ever swear at me, face to face, unless it’s one on one in my office with the door closed. I called Geno Auriemma every name in the book- and I know them all (more laughter), when I played for him- under my breath. Finally, I’m going to bust your butts like they’ve never been busted, and at times I’m going to work you until you puke. I’m going to make you as good a player as you can be IF you do the work, and IF you use your incredibly good brain, and IF you listen and do it beyond the point that it’s possible to do it. We will NOT lose a game because the other team’s in better shape than we are; can’t happen, won’t happen. So okay, I’m a bitch (even more laughter).”

Then we did a shoot around and I ended practice 5 minutes early.

The kid who called me a bitch came in and apologized. I told him it was cool. He had given me an opportunity to say some things I was looking for the chance to say. He left smiling, and said it might happen again but it would be said more softly. Progress!

10/25: Daisy: We have twin girls! We were told that the quickest, easiest route to adoption was to take in foster children. We applied in May, as soon as we got to New York state, and after tons of paper work the girls arrived today. Lots to tell!

There’s no guarantee that we’ll get to adopt these girls. It’s a process. We have a nanny, my sister Sandy (Sandra, but no one ever called her that.). She graduated high school in June and moved in with us, in hopes that we’d get a child. It took a while but that’s okay.

Sandy was unsure about what she wanted to do. She’s taking some on line courses. She is GREAT with kids. Our parents had a “surprise” kid when Sandy was 11, and she was like a second mom. She’ll be wonderful with our kids, and she’s family. Can’t beat that.

Okay, we bought a big house. Four bedrooms, three baths upstairs. Sandy is next door to the twins. The twins playroom, is across the hall, and the fourth BR is for guests.

Downstairs is the master bedroom (sexist term much!), LR, DR, Kitchen, two baths.

The finished basement has a big study for Rhoda, and a smaller one for me, and lots of open space.

While Sandy is our nanny, both of us want to be very involved in Tina and Tanny’s lives. Sandy will bring the kids to work for at least part of the day whenever we’re both on campus so we can spend time with them, separately and together.

We are VERY excited. Oh, the girls are two days old. Mom gave them up for adoption. And yes, they’re “of color.”

10/30: Rhoda: Things are coming together. We’ve learned an awful lot. We’re about to translate it into games. We play home and home with Boston University next week. That will really tell us a lot.

Babies in the house changes everything. They’re too young to be anything but cute (and loud and stinky) but man, are they easy to love!

11/6: Okay, now we know some things we didn’t know. We won the home exhibition game by 2, and lost the road game by 9. Here’s what we learned, along with the lineup:

First, we’re going with a 9 man rotation; more on that in a moment. Second, we were horrible with the ball in both games. We weren’t as good on the boards as I would have liked, but not bad either. Third, we gave up too many points. Okay, we know what we need to work on, and we WILL work on those things.

The lineup: Junior Jay Alan will play PG and some SG. Soph Cris West will play SG and some PG. Sophs Ross Mills and Mick Bird will back up at both guard spots. We’re thin at guard; after Jay Alan we’re very thin on talent. The guys I mentioned here are all working hard though.

Junior Craig Tice will start at SF.

Kip Hill is my go to guy. He’ll play mostly C, but some PF.

Fifth starter is Senior walk on Marc Adams. He’s not great but he works his butt off. He’ll start at PF but will shift to both SF and C.

If PF/C Rob Rain could learn to play D he’d start. Since he hasn’t learned yet he’ll back up inside.

Another senior walk on, Jed Kraft, will also back up inside.

I’m thinking, given this schedule, 7-6 is not an unrealistic goal for the pre-conf. season, and 7-7, maybe even 8-6 in conf.; I’ve looked at a LOT of video, and except for Penn, Brown, and maybe Columbia, we can compete with most of the Ivy League. I can see 4th, and with a bit of luck and no major injuries, even 3rd is possible. Can’t wait for the season to start.

Our babies make a lot of noise, especially in the middle of the night. Oh well. They say this phase doesn’t last long.

Gary Gray, EPSN: Rhoda Cox tells us she has a lineup. She had better hope that her PG stays healthy and that Kip Hill lives up to the hype. My prediction? Ron Rain will wind up starting. He can’t play D but he is a glass eater and he scores inside against anybody.
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Fri May 13, 2016 1:22 am

11/13: Rhoda. First game of the regular season, here, with Loyola Chicago. We led by as many as 17 early but it was 8 at the half. We ramped up the D and pressed more often but the lead was down to 6 with 9:32 left. We ramped up the D another notch, and the press with it. Then we lost the lead. Regained it, lost it again. Up 1 at the 1:54 mark. I had all of my TOs so decided to go offense/defense. It worked- barely. 56-54 at the end and a win to start the season.

I was pleased with 15 TOs. Ordinarily I wouldn’t be but it was better than I expected and it was +6. +2 RBs, 4 fewer fouls. Cris West was a very pleasant surprise, 16, 7, 2, 2 steals. Walk on Marc Adams played great ball, 12, 5, 2, 2. Rob Rain had 8 in 13 minutes. Jay Alan was a big letdown- 7 TOs.

We need to work on some things but I understand work.

11/16: Game #2. Idaho ST, here. It’s their first game so we don’t have much to go by.

They were tough early, going up by as many as 9. We made some adjustments and led 39-36 at the half. 1st half stats were all but identical. We got it done outside but our starting big guys gave us nothing. Sub Jed Kraft and Rob Rain did better.

I again upped the D and the pressure to start the 2nd. We quickly built the lead to 13. We built the lead to 22 and won 80-64. 2-0!

We were +10 in RBs in the 2nd half, and we shot 62%.

Cris West led us again with 17, 4, 2, 3 steals. He has yet to commit a TO this season. I gave him more time at PG and will increase that again. Jay Alan had 6 TOs to add to the 7 he had last game. Cris West will be at the Point at critical times from now on. Alan DID have 12, 5, 7 though. Rob Rain had 11 and 7 with 4 steals. He needs to play more, and he will. Marc Adams had another good game as did subs Jed Kraft (8 and 8), Ross Mills at guard (9 pts. good D), and Mick Bird, also at guard. Craig Tice was okay at SF- no, he was better than that; shut his man down.

Three weeks before we play at home again. That sucks.

West is now my PG and Alan my SG. I don’t know what’s wrong with Kip Hill, Rob Rain will get some of his minutes, and a few other minutes; I want him in there.

I hate the idea of Daisy and I being on the road for so long. Daisy’s mom is going to stay at our house to help Sandy. Infant twins are way too much for one person. Ms. Chayne is great with little ones. She’s a nurse in pediatrics.

11/19: Rhoda: At SIU-Edwardsville. They’re 2-0. Up 3 at the half. Rob Rain is making a case to be put in the starting lineup. No one had more than one foul at the half so we ramped up the D. Fewer TOs with West running the O. Quickly went up 9. They came back to tie. I went O/D at the end and we won 61-57. 8 fewer fouls, 7 more RBs (Rob RAIN!), 34 points in the paint (RR again!). Rain had 19, 12, 2 steals, 3 blocks. He is now a starter. Oh, only 2 fouls, and the guy he was guarding had 4 pts., 2 RBs. Craig Tice played well, Hill, Alan, and West. We’re better with Rain in, and with West at PG.

Okay, Rain is starting. Adams is getting fewer minutes. It’s a process but things couldn’t be better. First 3-0 in 14 years here at Cornell.

Gary Gray, EPSN: “Hey fans, how about the Cornell Big Red , 3-0. Okay, 3 cupcakes but hey, last season the cupcakes were Red Velvet, so to speak. Gotta give the new coach credit. She’s making adjustments, doing some really smart things late in the game, and as predicted, I’m told Rob Rain will be in the starting lineup for the next game.”

11/20: Rhoda: Crap! Ryan Tens didn’t sign. That means he won’t hit our SAT score. Back to the drawing board.

11/23: Rhoda: 42-27 at the half in Kona. Rob Rain managed to commit 3 fouls in 3 minutes but Kip Hill and Jed Kraft picked up the slack. 78-56 at the end. 7 more RBs, 7 fewer fouls, 4 fewer TOs. Rain had a great 2nd ½ but everyone played well. Jay Alan seems more comfortable at SG than at PG and he had 18 with only 2 TOs. Jed Kraft had 11 and 5 from the bench, and we finally got a good game from Kip Hill, 12, 6, 2.

4-0 is incredible. I did not expect this. +11.0 PPG, +6.5 RBs, + 2.0 TOs. Life is good!

We’re giving Ross Mills Mick Bird’s minutes.

One more game then a quick trip home for two days. No games but we need the guys to check in with their tutors, everyone needs two nights in their own bed, and Daisy and I need to see the babies.

11/26: Rhoda: 28-40 at the half. They shot .667. We ramped up the D to start the 2nd half. Nope. We were never in it, 53-74. Rob Rain had 22 and 6 but no one else did much of anything. .396 shooting. Fouls hurt (24-14) but we were outplayed, probably due to the fact that except for Rain we were flat, flat, flat. Oh well. A little home cookin’; for a couple of days then back at it.

11/30: Rhoda: The trip home didn’t help. 57-71 at Northern Kentucky. We were down 15 at the end of the half. We ramped up the D and got as close as 4, twice, but then they went on a run. +10 RBs, but -15 TOs, which is what did us in. Seemed like every one of our key possessions ended with us throwing it away. Keep working.

28, 7 for Rain, but he didn’t get much help. Kip Hill simply has yet to find his game. Very disappointing.

Gary Gray, EPSN: “The air seems to have come out of the Cornell Big Red balloon. Understandable when you consider the fact that the last 4 have been on the road. The worse news is 4 of the next 5, and 5 of the next 7 will be as well. Brutal schedule; shame on you, Hannah Rice.

“The brightest spot of the young season for the first woman to coach a Division I men’s team in any major sport has been inside player Rob Rain, leading scorer with 16.5, and leading rebounder with 6.3. Oh. He’s also their leader in steals and blocks. He’s only a sophomore so he’ll be here for a while.

“Next game is at 2-3 South Dakota ST, then a home game with 4-1 So. Carolina ST. We’ll be here at least once a week all season long to talk about this historic season for the Big Red of Cornell and coach Rhoda Chayne Cox.”
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Fri May 13, 2016 6:00 am

12/3: Rhoda: 37-28 at the half. 16 for Rain, 11 for Jay Alan. Good D, good ball movement on O. 79-59. We were in control all the way; never trailed. +11 RBs. 26, 8, 4, 2, 2 for Rain, 18, 4, 5 for Alan. Good bench play.

5-2. Considering 5 of the 7 were on the road I’m delighted. Still lots of work to do.

6 days at home before a 9 day road trip. After that the travel becomes sane.

Jed Kraft has been really producing. We’re giving his PT a big bump.

12/7: Rhoda: We scored the first 11 but they pecked away. 35-30 at the half. Rain had 18, Tice 8. We ramped up the D and put the pressure on and won going away, 75-64. +15 RBs. 30 for Rain, 17, 4, 3 for West, 12, 4, 6, 3 for Tice. Good bench play, especially inside.

8 games into the season and we’ve matched last year’s win total. We played before a standing room only crowd, which they tell me has not happened here in Ithaca in living memory. We are the talk of the town!

It’s not all roses. Jed Kraft strained a calf muscle. Out for about two weeks. Tice and Adams will pick up his minutes.

Back to the road. The babies, at about six weeks old, are growing and changing very quickly and we’re missing too much of it. Oh well, another week or so and the trips will be shorter. Can’t wait ‘til they’re old enough to come with us.

12/10: Rhoda: At 5-3 Cal ST Bakersfield. 46-29 at the half; firing on all cylinders! +9 RBs, +5 TOs. 14 for Rain, 8 and 5 for Hill, 9 with 4 assists for Alan, 6 and 5 for Adams.

85-60. +8 TOs, +7 RBs. 17, 4, 6, 3, 2 for Alan, 20, 4 for Rain, 11 each for Tice, Hill, Adams.

At 3-5 Maine next.

Gary Gray: The Cornell Big Red are at 7-2. It’s been 4 seasons since they’ve won as many as 7, and they have about 20 more ot play. Excitement is high and the Big Red fans LOVE their new head coach, Rhoda Chayne Cox, the first woman to serve as head coach of a Division I men’s team in a major sport. And she is doing it up right! We hope to interview her soon.

12/13: Rhoda: 37-43 at the half. It’s a war. We’re -7 in TOs and that’s the difference. 11, 6 for Rain, 9, 5, 3, 2 for Alan. We’ll do the usual and ramp up the D in the 2nd half, and hope for the best.

75-77, but it wasn’t that close. We scored the last 5, and 9 of the last 11. We tried everything but they were a little better. TOs (24) did us in; we gave them 17 more shots than we took. 23, 10, 2, 2, 4 for Rob Rain, who no one has been able to stop. 19, 7, 4, 3 for Jay Alan, but 6 TOs. Tice also had 6 TOs, as did Marc Adams.

Work to be done!

One more on the road. After that 50% of the remainder are at home.

At 5-5 Seattle.

12/17: Rhoda: 45-41 at the half. +7 RBs but -4 TOs. Rob picke dup 3 fouls, managed 6 points in 9 minutes. Jay Alan had 15, 3, and 4, Cris West had 9 and 4. Good bench play but all of our inside players are in foul trouble. Screw it,
I’ll ramp up the D at the first sign of trouble anyway!

Up 13 with 17:00 to play. 87-80 despite all sorts of foul trouble and 19 TOs. +11 RBs.

Jay Alan has been on fire since we switched him from PG to SG. Tonight he had 26, 3, 6, BUT 7 TOs. 12 and 6 for PG Cris West and only 2 TOs. Foul trouble held Rain to 8 and 4 but others picked up the slack.

We’re at 8-3, which is fantastic!

“Gary Gray here after the game with Cornell head coach Rhoda Chayne Cox. Rhoda, things are going well!”

“Yes they are.”

“How have you managed to win so quickly, with a team that was expected to go nowhere?”

“Well, it’s still early, but when we started introducing ourselves to players way back in May we asked tow things, work harder than you’ve ever worked, and take instruction to heart and work on THAT. My guys bought in. I’m guessing many of them are doing things on the court that they never thought they would be able to do.”

“It takes more than effort though.”

“Sure. A good coach needs to assess what the team has, and what it lacks. Our staff did that very early on. Then we worked on how to maximize our strengths, how to shore up the weaknesses we felt we could shore up, and how to make the ones we didn’t think we had the talent to fix.”

“Some say you’re doing it with smoke and mirrors, and maybe voodoo.”

(Laughs) “Well, I’m officially denying the voodoo part. We’ve had some luck. Rob Rain took some time. He was in the gym all summer. We gave him some suggestions, things to work on, people to work with, and man did he do it. I think he spent 8 hours a day in the gym and in the weight room. Now, before you ask, we can’t enter the gym when players are in there, and we never did. But it is perfectly legal to advise, and we did. Anyway, when practice started on October 2 Rob wasn’t showing us much. He was probably the 4th or 5th big man on our depth chart. But he kept getting slowly better.

“By the time we got to exhibition games, during the first week in November, we thought he’d get some minutes. My philosophy with exhibitions is to give everyone about the same number of minutes. Some guys are better game players than practice players, and vice versa. Anyway, he looked okay. When the season started he and Jed Kraft were fighting for the #3 big man spot. That’s when it all came together for him. By what, the 3rd game of the season maybe, he was a starter and our go to guy. He’s been all of that ever since.

“The other guy is Jay Alan. Jay was the PG last season. We fiddled with this, fiddles with that, played him at the Point. But it wasn;t working. He was throwing the ball away, and he wasn’t getting open for shots. When we put Cris West at the Point and moved Jay to the 2, some very good things happened.”

“So now you’ve found the winning combination.”

“Hell no! We’re still tweaking. Jed Kraft has earned starter’s minutes. Then we started him, and in the very first game he got hurt. That’s part of the game. Now he’s back, and he’ll start at SF and play some PF. Craig Tice and Marc
Adams will share back up minutes until one of them shows us he deserves most of those minutes. Tice scores some but doesn’t rebound, and Adams rebounds but doesn’t score.

“I see a lineup as a fluid thing. At UMass I was constantly tweaking, shifting, fixing, tinkering, going with the hot hand, adjusting to injuries. We’ll do the same here.”

“How do kids react to that?”

“Some love the challenge and they rise to it. Some back away and, unfortunately, fade out of the picture.”

“Any of those on this team?”

“Well, I would never single a kid out publicly. Let’s just say that I have 200 player minutes per game. The guys who get those minutes will get them because they earned them.”

“Thanks Rhoda. Hope you can keep doing what you’re doing.”

“Me too! Thanks Gary.”

12/21: Rhoda: 5-2 Army before another full house here at home. 41-28 at the half. +9 RBs, 7 TOs. 14, 4, 2 for Jay Alan.

77-56. +17 RBs. Alan had 27, 8, 7, but 10 TOs. Rain had 16, 8, 2 with 3 blocks.

Final pre-conf. game at AFPW.

12/24: 37-40 at the half. +5 RBs, but -6 TOs. All of our inside players are in foul trouble, starters and subs; most have 3.

I tightened the D anyway, and eventually put the press on. 5 guys wound up with 4 fouls but nobody fouled out. At the end it got very close so I went O/D.

Final score? 77-76. We hit our free throws when it counted.

We never led by more than 3! +7 RBs. We had 21 TOs but they had 18. Jed Kraft led us with 20, 2, 4. 18, 7 for Tice. They contained Rain (8, 2, 3), the first team to do that all season.

We close out the pre-conf. season at a fantastic 10-3! RPI is #47.

12/25: Rhoda: First Xmas for the babies. They’re 2 months and 2 days old so it doesn’t mean a thing, but Daisy, Sandy, the grandparents and I all had lots of fun.

We’re home through 1/7, and our next game isn’t until 1/4. I gave the players 4 days off but warned them to run every day.

Stats for the pre-conf. season: +7.1 PPG, +7.4 RBs, -1.5 TOs, +2.6 blocks. Ball handling is our weakness and inside play is our strength. Rob leads us with 17.7 and 5.8, and 1.7 blocks. Jay has 13.9 PPG, and 4.7 assists.
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Fri May 13, 2016 4:43 pm

1/1/’36: Ray Ratso, San Francisco Examiner: And a happy New Year to all of you out there in the Bay Area. As you know we have been following the story of the first woman to coach a men’s team in a major Division I sport. Rhoda Chayne Cox has exceeded all expectations so far. She has the Cornell Big Red at 10-3 going into Ivy League play. The “experts” would probably have had it at 3-10. Cornell was predicted to finish 7th in the 8 team Ivy. I’m guessing they will contend for the title. Just as an aside we are saddened that the first woman coach, etc., etc., etc., is coaching for a team with the nickname Big Red. How unfortunate!

Coach Cox (Speaking of unfortunate!) will not be at Cornell for more than 2-3 seasons before some genius A. D. at a mid-major will snap her up. 3-5 years after that we predict she will be coaching at an elite program. You heard it here first.

1/4: Rhoda: We open Ivy play at home with Harvard. A back and forth 1st half ended 33-30. 6 points was the most that ever separated the two teams. +5 RBs, +4 TOs. Jay had 11, Cris West 9, and they combined for 2 TOs. Teams have been doubling Rob Rain down low. Kip Hill took advantage, but none of our other bigs did.

At the half we talked about how to make Harvard pay for the inside double on Rain, and we made the usual decision to play tougher D and use a more pressure.

Harvard wouldn’t go away. 61-58 at the buzzer. And yes, for the entire game there was never a time when more than 6 points separated the two teams. The crowd was a factor. They were LOUD!

+5 TOs, +4 RBs. Team effort, West and Alan had 13 each, Rain had 12. Kip Hill probably had the best game, 11 and 10. Craig Tice was our only contributor from the bench. We need more from there.

On the road with 8-6 Penn next. They’re as good as anybody in the league.

“Gary Gray, EPSN sports. We are remote with Jay Alan and Rob Rain of the 11-3 Big Red of Cornell after a gutsy win over Harvard in front of a crazy home crowd. Guys, both of you were here last year when the crowds averaged about 350. How does it feel to play in front of a crowd like that, 4500 screaming fans cheering everything you do. Jay?”

“It’s a dream come true. I’m a junior. Playing here last eyar and the year before was NOT fun. This year it’s awesome.”

“Rob Rain. Coach Cox kind of discovered you, maybe reinvented you. Tell us about that.”

“She made me believe in myself. At the beginning of the summer, and right into early fall, I was still struggling. She’d say things like, ‘You can do this, Rain,’ and, ‘Work harder. Some beautiful things are about to happen.’”

“And?”

“And I trusted her, and I worked harder than I thought I could work, and some beautiful things have happened.”

“Jay, does she call all of you by your last name?”

“Unless she’ pissed at us, yeah.”

(laughter) “How is that?”

“She explained that it’s easier. Unless you have two guys with the same last name it’s just easier. There are a lot of Jays and Robs, not so many Rains and Alans. It’s cool.”

“So here’s the question you knew was coming. What’s it like playing for a woman? Rob?”

“She taught me so much, practically from day one, that I really never gave it much thought. She’s the coach. She kicks butt, asks for a lot, yells sometimes- that’s what coaches do. BUT, she knows how to make you believe in yourself and believe in her.”

“Jay?”

“I was skeptical at first. Tell you the truth my bags were packed. But man, she sold me. And it didn’t take long. It was clear early on that she knew her stuff. She was a great communicator. She didn’t just kick your butt, she explained what you were doing wrong and demonstrated how to fix it. She is easily the best coach I’ve ever played for.”

“I hear not everyone is on board. Jay”

“There are two guys. They didn’t play last year. They aren’t playing this year. They complain, and frankly, they don’t work very hard. I’m guessing she cuts them in the spring.”

“I hope she does. They’re trouble.”

“Everybody else is with the program?”

“I think so. I haven’t heard a word about her except the usual stuff guys say about every coach. What about you, Jay.”

“That’s right, Rob.”

“Guys, I appreciate it. Continued success ahead!”

1/7: Rhoda: 34-24 at the half. +7 RBs, -4 TOs. Held them to 31% from the field, 0-9 on threes. Great bench play from Tice and Mills. Inside starters each have 3 fouls. But, you know the drill!

70-61. Big win! We led for the last 38 ½ minutes. -8 TOs, but +14 RBs. 25, 10, 5 from the bench. It’s been a focus at practice.

Jay Alan is a frustration. He and Rob are our most consistent scorers, but Jay is terrible with the ball. I’ve worked the lineup so that he is never at PG but he’s still averaging 5.1 TOs per game. No clue how to fix it without taking away from his 13.7 PPG, and Ivy leading 4.7 assists PG. Maybe we just need to let it be.

We’re at 12-3. The last time Cornell won 12, and it was exactly 12, was 2029-’30. The time before that? 2022-’23? The last time we won more than 12? 2017-’18. RPI is #45.

At 10-5 Columbia next.

1/11: Rhoda: A battle! 30-33 at the half. 13 lead changes, never more than 6 points between us. Stats are pretty even.

At the beginning of the half we give guys a chance to rehydrate, and to pee if they need to, while my bench coach, Ken Maso and I, and Dee and Ted too, if they’re here (Dee almost always is. With Ted it depends on whether he’s on the road recruiting.) discuss what adjustments we’re going to make. Then we spend 5-7 minutes talking to the guys, and send them back out to shoot. It is counterproductive to tell them too much. It becomes a blur to them. This is NOT because they’re stupid, which they are NOT. It’s because basketball is about reaction. I don’t want too many things on their minds; just the things that need to be there.

Teams are doubling Rob when he gets the ball and it’s working. We’ve been working on him kicking it back out quickly so we can then find the open guy on the opposite side of the blocks. It’s getting better but we’re not there yet; Rob is tending to foul when he’s doubled. We’ll fix it.

Basketball is a chess game. One coach does something, the other reacts, and it’s back and forth. I’m going to do this one thing ‘til the other coach figures how to stop it; then I’ll do something else.

Back and forth, back and forth, and they hit a 3 at the buzzer to send it to OT. We have two guys who have fouled out; they have three.

Jay Alan hit a 3 at the OT buzzer to send it to a 2nd OT. Both sides are running out of players due to fouls.

They outlasted us, 87-79. Our shots didn’t drop in the 2nd OT; theirs did.

+12 RBs, but -13 TOs. Iron man work for Hill, West (46 min.!), Kraft and Mills. We lost Rain, Kraft, and Tice to fouls and it was too much to overcome. Hill led us with 16 and 10. Mick Bird got some minutes and he looked good.

The babies are staring to do a little more than sleep, cry, and poop. They smile, seem to recognize us. In a couple of months they’ll be doing lots of stuff, but every day is a good day. Daisy and I do NOT like being away from them, but nothing can be done about that. Sandy is doing a terrific job.

So we lost in double OT, on the road, to the only undefeated team in the Ivy.

6-10 Princeton next, here.

1/14: Rhoda: Another sellout crowd, behind us all the way. 52-39 at the half and the crowd was WILD!!! +12 RBs and only 6 TOs. 18 for Rob Rain. At the half I told them I wanted more D but I couldn’t fault the O.

92-74 at the end. It was never a contest. +15 RBs. 25 and 7 for Rob; his best in a while. 16, 12, 3, 2 for Tice, 15, 3, 5, 1, 3 for Alan.

Columbia lost so we’re in a 4 way tie for 1st.

At 7-10, 3-1 Yale next.

1/18: Rhoda: 32-40 at the half, and I am NOT pleased! Our D was for sh*t and we didn’t rebound. I let my guys know how I felt before sending them to pee and eat oranges.

Cris West had 13, but he picked up his 4th foul on a reach in, in the last minute. Stupid! We showed no inside game. We’re going inside in the 2nd half and we’d damn well better rebound!

I told Mick Bird that I needed good minutes from him with West in foul trouble.

Nothing worked for a good part of the 2nd half.

64-70 at the end. We came back, but not enough. RBs were definitely better; TOs were not. We lost the game at the line. Rain had 16, 8, Tice 9, 5, 1, 4. No one else did much.

Practice will be … intense for the next few days.

1/21: Rhoda: Brown is next, here. Worst team in the Ivy. 43-31 at the half. We’re committing too many fouls, which has been an issue lately.

72-56, but it wasn’t that close. +12 RBs. 8 and 13 for Jed Kraft, 12, 6, 2 for Kip Hill.

At 12-7, 4-2 Dartmouth next. This is the toughest remaining road game.

1/25: Rhoda: 29-29 at the half. +10 RBs, -3 TOs. Tice and West are leading us.

Tighter D in the 2nd half did the trick, 72-62. +27 RBs, which is pretty amazing! 13, 11 for Tice, 12, 11 for Kraft, 11, 6, 2 for West, 8, 9 for Rain. Good bench play.

15-5, 5-2. Jed Kraft stubbed a toe. He’ll be a little bit hobbled for about a week.

At 8-12 Harvard. We won by only 3 at our place. 3 point D hurt us.

1/28: Rhoda: 41-37 at the half. Stats very similar. We shot a little better.

Horrible 2nd half. 68-83. 13 TOs in the 2nd half. The D was all but non-existent.

1/29: Rhoda. Yep, Ryan Tens didn’t hit our score. Missed it by 20 points. Arrrggghhh! We offer to a PF.

Hannah Rice, our A. D., called me into her office. She told me that after this year I could only go after jucos and transfers with a 2.8 GPA or better. I get that. I’m glad I had one year to get the best players I could though.

Oh, I haven’t talked about endorsement opportunities. EVERYBODY wanted me to endorse their product or service. I could have made millions. I DID make millions, but I only took on two endorsements: 1. Toyota Talon Hybrid, because I actually drive one and love it. Good size car and 88 mpg. 2. Planned Parenthood spokesperson, because why wouldn’t I? The former made me a very rich woman. The second was just because it was the right thing to do.

“Gary Gray, EPSN Sportschat. Rhoda Cox and her Cornell men’s hoop team are sitting one game back of first in the Ivy League, at 15-6, 5-3, and with a very favorable schedule for their last 6 regular season games. Here’s retired men’s Hall of Fame coach Artie Arnett. Artie, what about the job Rhoda’s doing?”

“Hard to find fault. Everybody knew she could coach but man, what a turnaround for the team.”

“Can she recruit, Artie?”

“Remains to be seen. She had two great looking guys but one of them didn’t hit the SAT score. She seems to be in the running for three guys, and rumor has it that she’s going to open two more spots. She needs to land some guys to keep this good start coming.”

“Has her gender hurt her?”

“You know, I thought it would. I don’t see that it has. Refs seem to treat her the way they treat the men. She can be in the ref’s face, but she’s always known how far to push. I think she’s only been T’d up twice all season. Hell, that was a week’s worth for me!”

“Bobby Knight III said there’s no place for a woman coach in men’s hoops.”

“Consider the source- and the family history.”
Wayne23
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Re: Rhoda Cox

Postby Wayne23 » Sat May 14, 2016 1:12 am

2/1: Rhoda: Penn is here. Beat them by 9 there.

Up 39-35 at the half. Stats pretty even.

76-74 on a buzzer beating 14 footer from Rob Rain. Hell of a game! 17 lead changes, 11 ties. +10 RBs, -4 TOs. +6 fouls. Widest spread was 8 points, early. Rob was the man, 28, 8, 2, 2, 2. West, Tice, Adams, Mills all played well. Kraft is back.

12-10, 4-5 Columbia here. We lost in double OT there.

2/4: Rhoda: Bloody hell! 42-43 at the half. No D at all.

I raised some high class hell at the half. West managed to get 4 fouls again. Considering he’s the only guard who doesn’t turn it over, not good.

Huge battle until about 4:00 left. At that point we went on an 11-0 run. 87-70, but WAY closer than that for most of the game. 19 lead changes, 7 ties; for a while the lead changed on every possession. +9 RBs. Rob Rain was a giant, 36 and 6. 18 for West, who never did pick up the 5th foul.

4 way tie for 1st with 4 to play. My, my, my!

At 7-16, 3-7 Princeton next. We won by 18 here.

“Gary Gray, EPSN Sportschat. Here very briefly with Rhoda Cox. Rhoda. Tied 4 first!”

“With half the league! We like our position. 4 to play, and the two tough teams are at our place. We’re not taking the road games for granted but I can see us finishing 3-1.”

“That would put you at 20-7. No one expected a 20 win season.”

“Not there yet, but yeah. Not many expected a 10 win season.”

“Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!”

2/8: Rhoda: 31-30 at the half. +7 RBs, -5 TOs, committed 4 fewer fouls. We were, I don’t know, a little sluggish maybe. At the half I told them I wanted more energy. It’s that point in the season though. Still, I want this game.

Whew! Another nail biter. My 4th guard on the depth chart, Mick Bird, in because of fouls, hit 2 free throws with 7 seconds left and we won 74-72. Another game where the widest margin all night was 8 points. +13 RBs, -7 TOs. 22,
7, 4, 2 for Rain, 11, 9 for Hill, 14 for Alan. Great bench play.

#3 guard Ross Mills sprained his wrist. Out about a week. Not a good time for an injury.

We are alone in 1st, one up on 3 teams. Everyone else is at least 3 back with 3 to play. This could actually happen; 2 at home, one on the road, with cellar dweller Brown.

The babies are now 3 ½ months. They smile, laugh a little, babble to each other. Good times!

11-13, 7-4 Yale, here. They beat us by 6 there. Fouls, TOs, and weak D beat us. We know how to fix all of that. Now to execute!

2/11: Rhoda: 34-43 at the half. Lousy O, lousy D, and their SG has 16.

64-75. We simply didn’t have it tonight. First home loss of the season. We were charged with 8 more fouls including a T against me. They were 31-35, we were 12-21, so we lost it at the line.

This was an opportunity lost. Tied for 1st with Yale and Penn, with 2 to play.

This is strictly “under the rose” but Pat Blun and Dan Ashe will be cut the day our last game is played. Blun has no talent and no work habits. Ashe has some talent but he’s not willing to do what it takes to utilize his talent. I should have dumped them long ago, but it’s not a great thing to cut a player during the season.

At 9-16, 2-10 Brown. We won by 16 at our place.

2/15: Rhoda: 26-31 at the half. I gently pointed out the importance of the game in the locker room at halftime- actually, I raised the f***ing roof! Then I did something I rarely do, I gave absolutely no instructions. As a matter of fact, for 5 minutes I said nothing, and signaled my assistants to say nothing.

When it was time to go out and shoot I said, “Okay UMass girls; let’s go.”

We scored the first 9, and won 60-58. Hill, West, and Alan led the way. 20 TOs again.

Still in a 3 way tie. We close at home with 16-10, 8-5 Dartmouth. We won by 10 there.

2/18: Rhoda: 59-35 at the half. Highest halftime point total of the season. No one with more than one foul.

95-72. +18 RBs, only -2 TOs. 22, 11, 3 for Rain, 22, 10, 3 for Hill, 17 for Alan, 16 for West.

We end the regular season at 20-7, 10-4, RPI #38, 2 way tie with Penn, but the #1 seed.

+5.7 PPG, +8.9 RB, -2.7 TOS (18.4 UGH!), +2.5 blocks.

We play #8 seed Brown, 9-18, 2-12. We beat them by 16 here but only by 2 there. We're healthy, and hopefully ready.
Wayne23
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